David Koranda, senior instructor of advertising in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), was elected to serve on the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) last November in New York.

The NARB is the appellate body for advertising industry self-regulation. When an advertiser or challenger disagrees with a National Advertising Division or Children’s Advertising Review Unit recommendation, they may appeal the decision to the NARB for additional review.

The NARB is made up of 70 professionals from three different categories: national advertisers, advertising agencies and public members made up of academics and former members of the public sector.

Koranda was nominated for the position by a colleague because of his extensive work in the advertising world and will serve a two-year term on the volunteer board. He is eligible to be re-appointed for two additional terms.

Koranda sees this opportunity serving on the self-regulatory board as a positive and innovative way to settle disputes on behalf of the public, and to aid in the transparent and honest communication of the advertising industry – something he also teaches in his classes at the SOJC.

“Advertising practitioners are constantly faced with ethical decisions. My experience with the NARB enables me to give students positive and negative examples of those choices.”

Koranda recently chaired a case, along with four panel members following a dispute of claims between two major drug companies. As the chair, Koranda represented the interest of the general public.

One of the companies claimed that its cold medicine “starts (working) in eight minutes.” According to the Federal Drug Administration, the medicine does begin to chemically change in eight minutes, but the complaint stemmed from the claim not being concise and it let consumers assume that they will feel relief in eight minutes.

“It was clear to us that the claim was easily misunderstood by the public, and that’s not okay,” explains Koranda. “We told the company to change their communication and gave them some suggestions on what they could say moving forward.”

“There are a number of people in the advertising industry who are watchdogs for each other,” Koranda says. “Trying to deceive people in advertising is foolish. The upshot is, find creative ways to tell the truth. Don’t find creative ways to mislead people. I think that’s the bottom line.”

Written by Katie MacLean ’15